As organizations start to embrace digital initiatives, a new wave of business transformation is shaping up that is pushing technology initiatives and teams to align with changing business needs and doing more with less. This is prompting the need for newer architectures, changing ways of managing one's applications and infrastructure, and leveraging the best available options in the market instead of trying to build everything on their own. In this era, containers are playing a vital role to address all the emerging trends related to platform transformation and application delivery.
Containers have radically grown in popularity because they provide a consistent way to package application components and their dependencies into a single object that can run in any environment from on-premises to cloud to edge. Microservices architecture is becoming a popular way to develop cloud-native applications. This is because it enables agility and scalability by building an application as a number of small, independent services instead of a single monolith. By packaging code and applications dependencies into containers, a software development team can use standardized units of code as consistent building blocks. The container will run the same way in any environment either if it in labs, various stages of DevOps pipeline, or in cloud, and can start and terminate quickly, allowing applications to scale to any size. In fact, the developer’s community are using containers to package entire applications and move them to the cloud without the need to make any code changes. Additionally, containers make it easier to build workflows for applications that run between on-premises and cloud environments, enabling the smooth operation of almost any hybrid environment.
Container technology adoptions are skyrocketing. Per the analyst firm Gartner predicts that by 2023, 70% of organizations will be running containerized applications in the production environment as compared to today. As the adoption is growing by the deployment of containers in the organization, operations teams need a way to keep track of and manage them. Otherwise, it quickly becomes a cumbersome, or at least, an unmanageable situation. That’s where orchestration comes into play.
Kubernetes Emerged as a Key Player in Container Orchestration
Kubernetes (K8S), a container orchestration system, is a way to manage the entire life cycle of containerized applications across the environment. Kubernetes is an open source container orchestration platform that allows large numbers of containers to work together in congruence and reduces operational burdens. It enables simplified heterogenous deployment of application from On-Prem to Cloud to Edge. It is a sort of modeling that grants the ability to automate the deployment and scaling of several containers at once which needs the expertise of a container orchestrator. Several containers running the same application are grouped together; under the purview of a container orchestrator; which enable these containers to act as replicas and serve to load balance incoming requests. A container orchestrator, then, supervises these groups, ensuring that they are operating correctly. Kubernetes, originally developed by Google and now managed by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), has become the standard for container orchestration, providing a platform for automating deployment, scaling, and operations of application containers across multiple clusters of hosts.
Deployment Flexibility Drives Efficiency
Kubernetes is a great way to run modern, microservices-centric applications as it provides everything a developer needs to deploy containerized applications. It offers a rich set of functionalities that allows the developer community to determine how different services within modern applications are run, how they handle unexpected events, connect with each other, and connect with other applications and APIs. Some of the key features are:
- Container deployments and rollout controls
- Resource bin packing
- Built-in service discovery and autoscaling
- Heterogeneous clusters
- Persistent storage
- High-availability features
Kubernetes Enables a Cloud-native Journey and Faster Time-to-market
An organization needs to formalize the strategy and define the objectives before adopting this new container technology. If the objective is to minimize the infrastructure cost by adoption of Kubernetes and containers, enterprises would require focusing on deploying large clusters and getting as much density as possible from the container technology. If the strategy is around cloud-native development and the support developer team for continuous delivery across different computing platforms, enterprises would require different approaches by leveraging and integrating other platforms with Kubernetes such as monitoring and CI/CD integration. Kubernetes is a great way to run modern, microservices-centric applications. It offers a rich set of functionalities that allows teams to determine how different services within modern applications are run, how they handle unexpected events, connect with each other, and connect with other applications and APIs.
Deploying Kubernetes clusters is one of the key technological approaches that allows you to adopt a cloud-native strategy within the organization. Today, every major hyperscaler has made it easy to deploy Kubernetes clusters within minutes. They are offering managed Kubernetes services such as Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Services (AKS), Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE), Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS), and IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service and on-premises model, allowing companies to execute a hybrid-cloud strategy.
By abstracting the underlying infrastructure, Kubernetes allows you to run containers the same way on-prem as in the cloud. Through their Kubernetes services, these cloud providers manage the master node for you straight out of the box. Enterprises do not have to provision or manage the master node. The managed versions vary from different cloud providers as and how they deploy Kubernetes clusters, some go so far as to offer dedicated support, pre-configured environments, and hosting. Developers are continuously building new applications, deploying them to different clouds and using managed Kubernetes services to run them between clusters used for development, staging, and production, and the need to deploy Kubernetes clusters across different data centers and cloud providers, it isn’t hard to imagine that even the most well-organized company is still running dozens of Kubernetes clusters.
Reskill and Upskill for K8S Adoptions
Critical parts of any Kubernetes adoption strategy is determining how the Day2 ops will be look like and how the enterprises will upskill and reskill their existing teams and incorporate them in the containerization initiative and journey. This does not require pulling them off their existing work but perhaps they can work as part of a team to explore requirements, tools, and defining policies. There are multiple online resources and trainings available which anyone can go through to grab the expertise on the Kubernetes platform. CNCF has introduced two key certifications I.e. Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA), which is more focused on management of Kubernetes and Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD), which is a more overall approach to application build and run on Kubernetes.
The need to deliver new digital services more quickly is driving enterprises to pivot to containers and Kubernetes, both on premises, in the cloud and for edge locations. Flexible, multi-cloud, and hybrid cloud ecosystems built on containers and Kubernetes are complementing and even substituting conventional IT. Kubernetes is everywhere in today’s evolving cloud-native environments.
Organizations are adopting Kubernetes because it helps significantly increase the agility and efficiency of their software development cycle, enabling them to reduce the time to market and perils associated with putting new software into production. Information technology operations (ITOP) teams love Kubernetes because it helps boost productivity, reduce costs and risks, and moves organizations closer to achieving their hybrid cloud goals. Simply put, Kubernetes makes it easier to manage software complexity and overall deployment lifecycle.
Accelerate Your Containerization Journey with HCL’s ContainerizIt
As enterprise applications become more complex, development and operations (DevOps) teams need a tool that can orchestrate that complexity. They need a way to deliver all the services dependent on these applications, making sure the applications and services are healthy and can communicate to one another. Kubernetes minimizes rework to bring microservices from the cloud to the edge and simplifies the management of large amounts of edge agents.
The adoption of a Kubernetes platform can proliferate in a range of use cases and that’s where HCL ContainerizIT proposition aims at providing customers with a viable option for their containerization strategy. It offers a comprehensive end-to-end service and solution for building and managing the entire containers and Kubernetes life cycle to maximize developer productivity, achieve operational excellence, and optimize infrastructure utilization.